How to Make 4 Ink Colors for Fountain Pens (Including Invisible Ink!)

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own ink for fountain pens? Maybe you want a more complete fountain pen experience?

Here is a simple recipe for black ink:

  1. Add egg yolk, pure honey, and acacia gum to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. After enough stirring to mix the ingredients together, add lamp black and continue stirring.
  3. The mixture should be a paste-like consistency. Add water to reach the desired consistency.

Black ink is a great standard for almost any purpose. However, sometimes you just need a little more variety in your life. Below, I will go into more detail on the black ink recipe as well as provide three more ink recipes.

Table of Contents

Helpful tools for making ink

There are a few things you’ll need, no matter the color of ink you’re making. These are tools that will either be necessary or simplify the process. 

Your mixing bowl and stirring tool should be items that you don’t mind staining. Most of the stains from these inks won’t be impossible to remove, but they can be a pain. Additionally, since some of these inks require heat, you should be prepared to use a stovetop. 

Lastly, the syringe is not needed for making the inks. Instead, use this for adding the ink to the fountain pen cartridge. 

Ingredients for black ink

how to make your own ink for fountain pens

To make black ink you will only need the mixing bowl, stirrer, and ink jars. You will not need to heat anything. The syringe remains optional. As mentioned above, there are five ingredients in this recipe.

  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup of pure honey
  • 1 teaspoon of acacia gum (gum arabic)
  • ½ teaspoon of lamp black
  • Distilled water (quantity depends on desired consistency)

Egg yolks and honey are easy to procure. Any grocery store will do. Acacia gum and lampblack are a little less common. 

You can find acacia gum on Amazon or in some places where supplements are sold. You can also buy lampblack on Amazon or you can make it yourself.

Instructions for black ink

how to make your own ink for fountain pens

Of all the inks in this guide, black ink is one of the simplest just behind blue ink. You don’t need to heat anything aside from one exception which I will detail below. All you have to do is mix and let it set. 

  1. Add your egg yolk, ½ cup of honey, and 1 tsp of acacia gum to your mixing bowl. Use your stirrer to mix them until they are fully mixed.
  2. While you continue stirring, add the ½ tsp of lampblack. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes a paste.
  3. Since a paste won’t flow well, add water. Add small amounts and stir. Evaluate the consistency after each addition. Add until it resembles ink.
  4. Sometimes the water will not change the consistency enough. If this is the case you can heat the mixture. Be careful not to heat it too much or it will harden.

If you are worried about ruining the ink by adding too much water or heat you can test with small batches. Take a portion of the mixture to experiment with. When you find a good method you can apply it to the rest.

Ingredients for dark blue ink

how to make your own ink for fountain pens

Like the black ink, you won’t need anything aside from the mixing bowl and stirrer for this recipe. There are just two ingredients for this one.

  • 2 tablespoons of Prussian Blue dye
  • 4 tablespoons of distilled water

Prussian Blue dye can be found on Amazon or art supply stores.

Instructions for dark blue ink

This Prussian Blue ink is a deep blue that borders cobalt and indigo. It is a great ink for a bit of added elegance.

  1. Add the Prussian Blue dye and the water to your mixing bowl.
  2. Stir until the mixture reaches an ink-like consistency.

You may need to mix this ink again just before using it.

Ingredients for red ink

This red ink is the most complex compared to the other recipes. That said, it is still relatively simple. This is the recipe that calls for a saucepan and strainer. You will also need a knife and cutting board. This recipe calls for just three ingredients.

  • 1 raw beet
  • ½ cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar

Instructions for red ink

Sometimes you just need to write angry. There’s no better way to do that than with red ink. This recipe makes a vibrant red that will stand out.

  1. Start by cleaning your beet. You don’t want any extra contaminants in your ink.
  2. Cut the beet into small slices. The slices can be any size you want, but ¼ inch will do well.
  3. Add your beet slices and water to your saucepan.
  4. Cover the saucepan and let simmer for 15 minutes. The beet slices should be tender. If they are not, keep simmering. Check consistently.
  5. Pour the liquid through the strainer into another container.
  6. Add the vinegar to the liquid and mix.
  7. Let the mixture cool.

If the ink looks cloudy you can filter it through a paper filter. 

Ingredients for invisible ink

For your inner spy, there is everyone’s favorite: invisible ink. This recipe is very easy with only two ingredients.

  • Baking soda
  • Distilled water

The amounts of each depend on how much ink you want to make. They should remain in a 1 to 1 ratio, however. 

Instructions for invisible ink

All you need is your mixing bowl and stirrer for this recipe.

  1. Add your baking soda and water to your mixing bowl.
  2. Stir well.

That’s it. You now have invisible ink! To see the message you have two options. You can hold the paper up to a heat source. After a few seconds, the ink will turn brown. The other option is to rub grape juice over the paper. The grape juice will react to the baking soda to reveal the message.


Now you know how to make your own ink for fountain pens! Be careful with these inks as they will stain.

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